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                                                             FINANCES                                   PAGE 34

                                                             HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE                     PAGE 39

                                                             DEMOCRACY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE             PAGE 44
Report authors:
                                                             TECHNOLOGY AND ONLINE LIFE                 PAGE 49
Dr Heather Rolfe
Rose Lasko-Skinner                                           TRANSPORT AND THE ENVIRONMENT              PAGE 55
Asli Atay
Ellen Judson                                                                                            PAGE 61
                                                             RACE AND EQUALITY
Polly Mackenzie
Joe Oakes
Claudia Wood                                                 MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER                    PAGE 63
Sacha Hilhorst
Heather Williams-Taplin

Published by Demos August 2020.
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                                                         2                                          3
in the UK to put forward their ideas for how Britain          This report documents and analyses the main
                                                                   should change both as we emerge from this crisis,             changes we have seen. But just a few quotes will
                                                                   and move beyond it. There is a welcome, and                   make it clear that there is no single, or simple, way

                                                                   growing movement making that case that we should              to understand what we just lived through. Even these
                                                                   “build back better.” We agree. But first we need to           30 pages are just a snapshot of millions of divergent
                                                                   empower people across the country to articulate               experiences.
                                                                   what better means to them. This report is the first
                                                                   staging post in a six month conversation to answer                “I’ve loved the commute - 3 steps to the spare
                                                                   that question and develop a plan for how to bring                 room”
                                                                   citizens’ ambitions for change into practical reality.            “I have hated working over the internet”
                                                                   This report brings together stories and statistics                “I have felt so lonely and down.”
                                                                   about the change we’ve lived through in the last few
                                                                   months. Coupled with our microsite at                             “I have spent a lot of quality time with my family
        The outbreak of Covid-19 in                      , we aim to help people                      and really valued it.”
        the UK has touched every                                   and policy makers alike reflect on what we’ve been
                                                                   through and what that might mean for the future.                  “I feel so much anger towards the government
        aspect of our lives. From our                                                                                                that they sacrificed the elderly to save others.”
        sleep to our social lives, from                            Our analysis includes contributions from nearly
                                                                   12,000 members of the public who have already                     “The support from the community has been
        our jobs to our journeys,                                  shared their ideas and experiences with us. We feel               wonderful and my local council has been
                                                                                                                                     outstanding in their response.”
        from our finances to our                                   immensely privileged to have been trusted with such
                                                                   detail, such honesty, and in many cases such raw
        friendships. It has already                                emotion. Those who have participated have already
                                                                                                                                 When lockdown started, many people suggested
                                                                                                                                 that this would be a great leveller in society, as we
        cost tens of thousands of                                  shaped our understanding and analysis about how to            were all forced to live under the same strict set of
                                                                   take this project forward, and we hope both they and
        lives, and caused suffering,                               thousands more will continue to take part over the
                                                                                                                                 rules. Our research suggests that has not happened.
                                                                                                                                 Communities and neighbourhoods have, in many
        loneliness, bereavement, and                               coming months.                                                cases, pulled together to coordinate relief efforts,
        turmoil to millions of us.                                 We need them to. Because it is clear that we have             which people were proud to see or be part of. Most
                                                                   the fight of our lives on our hands, if we want to pull       people did feel a sense of common purpose around
        Covid-19 hasn’t just changed individuals’ lives.                                                                         the “Clap for Carers” initiative. But beyond this, the
                                                                   this country up to meet the aspirations its citizens
        It’s changed the economic, political and social                                                                          evidence suggests there is a real sense of dislocation
                                                                   have for it.
        landscape in which we live them. It has radically                                                                        between people whose experiences have been so
        accelerated our transition to working, shopping,           THE CHALLENGE AHEAD                                           different. Isolating as a family in a small flat is after all
        learning and interacting online. It has challenged                                                                       very different to isolating in a large house.
        assumptions about who matters in a society and             Our economy has taken a hit three times the size
        how we relate to one another. It has led to an             of the global financial crisis. Our public finances           There is intense anger and resentment - not just
        extraordinary outbreak of compassion, kindness,            have picked up some of the slack, but as economic             about perceived mistakes by government - but also
        and mutual support. It has exposed fault lines in          interventions like the furlough scheme are unwound,           to those who didn’t play by the lockdown rules.
        our system of social protection, and highlighted the       things could get substantially worse. Ambitious but           Those who lost loved ones, not surprisingly, tend to
        critical risks associated with inequality.                 expensive plans for levelling up growth between               feel this most deeply. People who were not eligible
                                                                   the regions of the UK, decarbonising our economy,             for government support through furlough or self-
        Nine months since the disease was identified, five         or improving funding for our health and social care           employment grants feel incredibly angry, and in
        months since the first person died in the UK after         systems look more important, but less affordable,             many cases resentful towards those who did get
        contracting it, we don’t know when or if we will get       than ever.                                                    support and were able to live relatively comfortably
        back to the lives we used to live. We wait and hope                                                                      without working.
        for a vaccine. Some of us cautiously try to navigate       The pandemic is not fully under control within the
        our half-open economy, while others continue to            UK, let alone around the world. Efforts to return the         MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER
        shield themselves at home. We hope we are near the         economy to health - let alone build a new economic
                                                                   or social settlement - will not succeed unless and            To move forward, as a society, we need to find a
        end of this story, but we know this could be just the
                                                                   until the health crisis is more fully suppressed.             space for people to talk about their experiences and
                                                                                                                                 try to build empathy with others. We all need to take
        But whatever happens, it is clear this will be a turning   And our research reveals a third challenge we face            the time to listen, and process, the stories of other
        point in our history. Months of lockdown acted as a        as we seek to build back better: political and social         people during this time. Only that process of sharing
        vast, enforced social experiment that has changed          divisions that have been, in many cases, reinforced           and listening can bring healing after a national
        what we want for ourselves, for our economy, and for       by the turmoil of the last few months. It has been            trauma of this kind. Renew Normal is designed to be
        our country.                                               an intense, overwhelming and deeply emotional                 part of that process. We encourage everyone to take
                                                                   time for us all. But that intensity is almost the only        the time to share their story, and to read through the
        ABOUT RENEW NORMAL                                         thing that holds together the extraordinary range of          stories of others.
                                                                   experiences and responses that people have lived
        Renew Normal was established to enable people                                                                            Go to our website and browse through thousands
                                                                   through over the last five months.
    4                                                                                                                        5
of answers to the question: what did you learn or                  to act in accordance with those values.”               and events to focus on the top opportunities for
change your mind about during the pandemic?                                                                               change identified by the public. This programme will
And then share your own perspective. All voices are                “The speed with which the government’s call for        run from now until to the end of October.
welcome.                                                           volunteers was filled to overflowing shows how
                                                                   people want to be part of a group and want to          In addition, we will be working with colleagues at
We are encouraging everyone who takes part to look                 help others. We must build on this.“                   CASM, Demos’ technology hub, to identify the
for the positives, the lessons and the opportunities                                                                      lessons learned from this intense period of living
from this crisis. To do so is not an attempt to erase              “Super appreciative of how Mother Nature has           online. These insights will feed into CASM’s ongoing
the reality that, for many people, these have been                 had a break and how we must learn lessons from         work, The Good Web Project, to develop and
the worst months of their lives. It is, instead, an                this.”                                                 advocate for a better internet.
attempt to find solace in our grief. And yet, we               We have analysed contributions to the project thus
recognise that it may be easier for those who have             far, and identified three main areas where people
not been too adversely affected to do so.

                                                               would like to see change, as we move on from
For example: those who have kept their income                  Covid-19. We will structure the coming months of
while working from home can talk about seeing                  this conversation around these themes:
the value of a slower life. Those who have had no              •   Our daily lives: family, wellbeing, communities
money coming in may have had to focus so intensely                 and the local environment
on providing for themselves and their family that it
hasn’t felt like a slower life.                                •   Our working lives: commuting, urban space,
                                                                   pay inequality, and our industrial strategy
Nevertheless, we think it is worth capturing all the
insights about what has brought people wellbeing               •   The social contract: our health and care                                                         This report published
during these difficult times. Contributors who tell us             systems, health inequality, and the welfare safety
how much they valued their garden remind us that                   net
we should ensure all families have access to green
space. It is important, too, to note that many of              To decide exactly where people believe the greatest
                                                               opportunities for change lie, and how we can build                                         Survey confirming issues where there is
those contributors acknowledge how lucky they have
                                                               consensus for them, we are launching alongside                                            potential to change Britain for the better
                                                               this report a new survey to gather opinion. We will
    “I am lucky to have good broadband.”                       conduct a nationally representative poll of 10,000
                                                               people, and we will separately publish the survey
    “We are lucky to have a lot of devices.”                   on our website, asking the same questions as the
                                                               poll, so that they are open to everyone who wants to                                               September - November:
    “I am lucky to have a garden.”
                                                               express their views.                                                                      12 week programme putting a series of
    “We have been extremely lucky to both be able                                                                                                     issues in the spotlight, with online events and
                                                               This survey, which explores a range of issues raised
    to work from home.”                                                                                                                                           digital democracy tools
                                                               by participants in our first study, can be found on our
The unique nature of this crisis, for which no                 website.
individual could be expected to have prepared, may
have shifted people’s perceptions of how risk should           In particular, we are looking for issues on which there
be shared in society, and that may in turn lead to a           is momentum for change, instead of going back to
                                                               the way things were. But that momentum must have                                                          November:
change in the kind of welfare safety net we want.                                                                                                                     Results published
This acknowledgement of luck when it comes to                  emerged from this crisis in some way. For example:
personal economic circumstances may be the seed                Theatres have been badly affected by this crisis: but
of growing social solidarity.                                  in our analysis thus far, no-one is arguing the industry
SHAPING THE FUTURE                                             should change dramatically. Public ambition is to get
                                                               it back to ‘normal’. So we won’t look at that sector.                                                   November:
The goal of Renew Normal is to identify lessons and                                                                                                       Open discussions on policy choices and
opportunities for the future from this period. Moving          Tax avoidance is an area where, in other Demos
                                                               work, we have shown the public would like to see
into the next phase of the conversation, we need to
narrow our focus on those issues where people are              change in government policy. But that has not been
starting to identify those opportunities.                      provoked by this crisis. So we won’t look at tax
Our analysis suggests that, while many people are
exhausted, angry, or both, there are a whole range of          Social care has been badly affected by this crisis, and                                                    December:
issues on which they are extremely ambitious for the           our research suggests people want to see a better,                                                   Final report published
country’s future.                                              new settlement rather than returning to the old
                                                               system. Therefore we will look in depth at social care.
    “This crisis is also an opportunity to hit the reset
    button. To really think about what matters, and            Once the results of that survey are in, we will
                                                               announce a rolling programme of online consultation
                                                           6                                                                                                                     7
THE COMMISSION                                                       FINDINGS
The Commission brings together leading figures from                  The following pages
sectors across society to steer the project, ensure it               summarise the results of the
reaches those whose voices need to be heard and those                first phase of Renew Normal.
who need to hear them. The Commissioners appointed                   This phase was designed to track and document the
are:                                                                 vast range of changes that happened in the UK over
                                                                     the months of Covid-19 lockdown from March 2020.
                                                                     These included policy and legal changes from central
MARTIN LEWIS OBE                                                     government, disruption to business practice, and
FOUNDER, MONEYSAVINGEXPERT.COM AND THE MONEY & MENTAL HEALTH         adjustments to individuals’ daily lives. As part of this
POLICY INSTITUTE                                                     first phase, we invited members of the public to tell
                                                                     us about their experiences. We did this through an
RT HON NICKY MORGAN - BARONESS MORGAN OF COTES                       open access survey which allowed anyone to tell us
                                                                     People were keen to take part and we had a total
ANDREA SUTCLIFFE                                                     of 11,577 between 29 May to 30 June. As an open
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE NURSING AND MIDWIFERY COUNCIL                 survey, it is not nationally representative, nor does
PROFESSOR DONNA HALL CBE                                             it seek to be.1 But it captures the experiences,
FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF WIGAN COUNCIL AND CHAIR OF THE NEW         emotions and stories of a large number of people
LOCAL GOVERNMENT NETWORK                                             across the UK at a unique point in history. The
                                                                     national and collective experience of Covid-19 is
HETAN SHAH                                                           vividly conveyed by our respondents, from their own
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE BRITISH ACADEMY                               homes and in their own words.
JOSH HARDIE                                                          The findings and insights of our research are
MIKE CLANCY                                                          EMPLOYMENT
                                                                     Government measures to protect those who have
NDIDI OKEZIE                                                         been unable to work - in particular the introduction
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, UK YOUTH                                            of the furlough scheme - have been unprecedented
                                                                     and welcomed. But lockdown has left many people
NICK TIMOTHY                                                         uncertain about their jobs. Some have adapted
AUTHOR AND FORMER ADVISER TO THE PRIME MINISTER                      to working at home; while for others - particularly
STEWART WOOD - LORD WOOD OF ANFIELD                                  parents - it has been a period of stress and

VIDHYA ALAKESON                                                      EDUCATION
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF POWER TO CHANGE                                   Lockdown measures facilitated a shift towards
ANNA SEVERWRIGHT                                                     home-learning for the vast majority of pupils This,
CO-CHAIR OF THE COALITION FOR COLLABORATIVE CARE                     combined with the cancellation of exams, has raised

CO-FOUNDER AND GENERAL PARTNER AT ENTREPRENEUR FIRST                 1         A demographic breakdown of the respondents can be
                                                                     found in the tables accompanying this report.
                                         8                                                                                         9
concerns about deepening educational inequality.             TECHNOLOGY AND ONLINE LIFE
Some parents have enjoyed homeschooling, while
others have struggled with time and resources. Many          During lockdown, internet usage increased
respondents expressed concern about the impact of            substantially as people endeavoured to continue to
lockdown on children’s progress.                             work, as well as stay in touch with friends and family.
                                                             People are grateful for the internet and broadband,
HOUSEHOLDS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDSHIPS                         though concerned at its patchy coverage and speed,
                                                             particularly in rural areas. Reliance on technology
Lockdown threw some people into closer contact               has also led many to be more concerned than in the
with their own household, which was valued by                past about online safety.
some, and at best tolerated by others. Some found
the time to take up hobbies, and eat more healthily.
Loneliness was a common thread in many responses.
                                                             TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENT                                 Covid-19 and its life-saving
Many missed their family and friends and worried             Tight restrictions on movements outside the home          lock down has had some of
that elderly relatives were unhappy and lonely.              meant that the roads were quieter, during lockdown
                                                             and carbon emissions dropped significantly in a
                                                                                                                       the most severe impacts on
COMMUNITY                                                    short space of time. Many people welcomed the             our labour market that most
In the face of a global threat, people turned to
                                                             change and became more interested in cycling and
                                                             electric vehicles. People also felt that the short term
                                                                                                                       of us have ever seen.
their local communities for solace. People have              environmental improvements were proof that change         The social distancing measures taken to prevent as
preferred local shops and shorter journeys. Many             is possible where it is seen as necessary.                much social interaction as possible - and ultimately
have become part of a community group, including
                                                                                                                       prevent the spread of the virus - necessitated a legal
through whatsapp. However, others have felt that             RACE AND EQUALITY
                                                                                                                       obligation for people to work from home. For the
their community did not pull together and reported
                                                             Respondents, particularly from BAME groups,               first time in history, it was an ”offence in England to
tensions around keeping to lockdown rules.
                                                             recognised that Covid-19 has impacted                     leave home for work unless it was not reasonably
FINANCES                                                     disproportionately on ethnic minorities who have          possible for that work to be done at home”. As of
                                                             also played an important role as key workers. Many        June 1st, it is no longer an offence, but employees
Lockdown was driven by the need to protect                   expressed the hope that this realisation will lead to     who can are still encouraged to work from home.2
public health, but it had a detrimental effect on            greater appreciation of the contribution of BAME
the economy and public finances. People reported                                                                       These changes have required a distinction between
                                                             people to the UK’s economy and society. Some
highly variable experiences of lockdown on their                                                                       key workers and non-key-workers. Key workers are,
                                                             respondents had given more thought to the issue
personal finances. While lockdown led to unrivalled                                                                    technically, people whose work is critical to the
                                                             of racism under lockdown, encouraged by the Black
economic turmoil for some and concerns for the                                                                         coronavirus response, such as doctors, nurses, bus
                                                             Lives Matter protests.
future, others reported little change in their income                                                                  drivers and waste disposal workers. This group has
but a fall in expenditure.                                                                                             had different guidance and legal rights, enabling
                                                                                                                       them to stay overnight in accommodation (such as
HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE                                                                                                 hotels), take their children to school and are likely to
                                                                                                                       be unable to work from home. Non-essential workers
Following the outbreak of the pandemic, all NHS                                                                        have been expected to work from home, unless it is
resources were swiftly redirected to managing the                                                                      not reasonably possible.
healthcare emergency, Public support for the NHS
and the dedication of health and social care workers                                                                   Entire sectors have been forced to close, such as
is high. At the same time, the focus on Covid-19                                                                       non-essential shops (e.g. hairdressers, electrical
and protecting the NHS has resulted in cancelled                                                                       goods shops, clothes shops) hospitality (e.g.
appointments, worrying backlogs and a sense of                                                                         pubs and restaurants), and, initially, most of the
abandonment in social care. Lockdown has impacted                                                                      construction industry. Some sectors were better
on many people’s mental health and sense of                                                                            prepared than others for working from home.
wellbeing.                                                                                                             According to the ONS, only one in ten from
                                                                                                                       accommodation and food services have worked from
DEMOCRACY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE                                                                                         home vs more than half (53%) of the information
The pandemic created a challenge for the                                                                               and communications industry. This is, in part,
government in containing the spread of the virus                                                                       underpinned by technological investment in the
while protecting the economy and upholding public                                                                      sectors: the information and communication industry
freedoms. Many respondents were critical of the
government’s handling of the crisis and many said its                                                                  2          Practical Law Employment, COVID-19 (Coronavirus and
performance had undermined public trust.                                                                               employment law). Thomson Reuters: Practical Law, 2020. Available at:
                                                                                                                       co_anchor_a439921 [accessed 12/08/2020]
                                                        10                                                                                                                            11
invested £9,196 per employed worker compared                              third had gone without essentials due to a change in                    Insurance contributions and employer minimum                                   same time as working?
with £272 in the accommodation and food                                   income.8 As the self-employed are a heterogeneous                       automatic enrolment contributions.”13
services industry.3 Furthermore, in roughly 60% of                        group - from the deliveroo driver to the law partner                                                                                               3. How easy or difficult they have found working
occupations, the place of work is fixed (such as for a                    - there have been starkly different experiences for                     Nonetheless, significant numbers have continued to                            from home?
sales assistant) or requires specialist equipment (such                   people who are self-employed, for example, those                        work from home during the crisis. According to the
                                                                                                                                                  ONS, only three out of five workers said that they                         4. Please tell us about any challenges or
as for a laboratory technician or bus driver) so it is                    with incomes between £40,000 to £49,999 a year                                                                                                        opportunities coming out of the pandemic you’re
less practically possible to work from home.4                             were twice as likely (48%) to claim as those with                       worked from home in April 2020 because of the
                                                                                                                                                  coronavirus pandemic.14 Further, McKinsey estimates                           facing relating to jobs and work.You can say as
                                                                          incomes less than £10,000 (24%).                                                                                                                      much or as little as you like.
These changes have created one of the sharpest                                                                                                    “that only around 20 percent of the working-
divides in our labour market: between remote                              The Chancellor has boosted sick pay to a slightly                       age population (or 40% of those at work and not                            For questions about our working lives, we
workers and non-remote workers. Those who are                             higher rate and made it available on day one of                         furloughed) are currently working remotely.”15                             achieved responses to some of all of the questions
able to work remotely are far more likely to stay in                      sickness to ensure that people who need to self-                                                                                                   from 7741out of the overall 11,689 people who
employment and far less likely to catch the virus.                        isolate with the virus or someone in the household                      For those who are working from home, their
                                                                                                                                                  working lives have radically changed. For some,                            completed the survey. In this section, percentages
Those who are not able to work remotely are                               who has symptoms are able to do so.9 The                                                                                                           will therefore refer to the number of people
often key workers, unable to work from home, and                          Government has also launched a digital skills toolkit                   the ability to work from home has helped us cope
                                                                                                                                                  with the pandemic, with “slightly more than half                           proportionally in this sample that responded to the
therefore more at risk from catching the virus. They                      for those on furlough to learn digital and numeracy                                                                                                question in the section, rather than overall.
are also workers in sectors that have totally shut                        skills.10                                                               (51%) of people aged 16 to 64 years who were in
down, resulting in large-scale job loss. As a result,                                                                                             employment used work as a means of coping while                            Out of our sample, respondents said that had the
the crisis has been dubbed a “sectoral” one, where                        It is difficult to assess the success of these schemes                  staying at home in April.”16                                               following working conditions:20
some sectors have crashed whilst others have been                         - in part because the architecture behind the
                                                                          furlough scheme and bonus for employers to keep                         Fewer people - almost 20% - have found it difficult.                       •   Just under two-thirds (63%) said that they had
able to stay afloat.                                                                                                                              Indeed, some are having to juggle childcare, that
                                                                          them until January 2021 is to keep employers                                                                                                           worked from home during the crisis
Radical changes have been met by significant                              and employees together, rather than employers                           has encompassed their children’s education, and
government support to employers and to workers.                           making them redundant so time will tell as to                           work.17 It seems that many might also be working                           •   Almost one fifth (19%) said that they were key
The Job Retention Scheme is considered one of the                         whether these relationships stick once the financial                    longer hours, finding it difficult to switch off between                       workers
most radical policies in centuries, providing support                     support is lifted.11 There has been no obligation                       work and home without the commute. On average,
                                                                                                                                                  employees working from home in the UK are                                  •   16% said that they had continued to work in their
to over 9 million employees and costing £22.9bn so                        for employers to furlough individuals and not                                                                                                          normal place of work
far.5 Of these, 40% of all furloughed employees are                       make them redundant; some have already been                             spending an extra two hours working per day.18 In
from hospitality and retail.6 A similar scheme has                        made redundant or expect to be once the furlough                        addition, some are also missing the social aspects of                      •   15% said that they had been furloughed
been drawn up for the self-employed - the Self-                           scheme is over. Predictions suggest that the jobs                       worklife and contact with their colleagues.19
Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), that                            most at risk are those who earn less, are BAME, and                                                                                                •   A further 25% said that they had been taking
                                                                                                                                                  WHAT YOU TOLD US ABOUT JOBS AND                                                care of children at the same time as working
has thus far supported 2.9 million. This equates to                       older or younger.12 Other measures included in the                      EMPLOYMENT
over half of the self-employed workforce, but it is                       Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs, have included a £2billion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             In response to whether people had found it easy or
possible that some are still missing out.7                                Kickstarter scheme that offers financial support to                     The open access survey asked questions about the                           difficult to work from home, we found that:
                                                                          employers who hire people who are aged 16-24,                           impact of the pandemic on jobs and employment.
Despite support, the impacts on the self-employed                         on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of                     The questions were:                                                        •   Over three quarters of (78%) of respondents had
have in places been acute. In a survey with the                           long-term unemployment. This funding will “cover                                                                                                       found it easy to work from home, while a fifth
self-employed by the LSE, three quarters reported                         100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25                       1. Which of the following describes your working                               (22%) said that they had found it difficult.
“that they have had less work in April 2020 than they                     hours a week, plus the associated employer National                        situation?
would usually have at that time of year” and over a                                                                                                                                                                          •   The groups most likely to have found it difficult
                                                                                                                                                  2. Do you look after school age children at the
3          ONS, Technology intensity and homeworking in the UK. Available at:
work/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/technologyintensityandhomeworkingintheuk/2020-05-01 [accessed 12/08/2020]                                13          HM Treasury, A Plan For Jobs 2020. Available at:
4          ONS, Technology intensity and homeworking in the UK. Available at:          jobs-2020 [accessed 13/08/2020]
work/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/technologyintensityandhomeworkingintheuk/2020-05-01 [accessed 12/08/2020]                                14          ONS, Coronavirus and social impacts on the countries and regions of Britain: April 2020. Available at:
5          GOV.UK, HMRC Coronavirus Statistics. Available at:      populationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsonthecountriesandregionsofbritain/
[accessed 13/08/2020]                                                                                                                             april2020 [accessed 13/08/2020]
6          Lasko-Skinner, R. Sector-picking: The role of online learning in transforming the labour market. Demos, 2020. Available at: https://   15          Allas, T., Canal, M. and Hunt, V. COVID-19 in the United Kingdom: Assessing jobs at risk and the impact on people and places. McK-                                                    insey & Company, 2020. Available at:
7          GOV.UK, HMRC Coronavirus Statistics: Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Available at:           jobs-at-risk-and-the-impact-on-people-and-places [accessed 13/08/2020]
lections/hmrc-coronavirus-covid-19-statistics#self-employment-income-support-scheme [accessed 13/08/2020]                                         16          ONS, Coronavirus and social impacts on the countries and regions of Britain: April 2020. Available at:
8          Blundell, J and Machin S. Five million self-employed in the UK have been hit hard by the pandemic. LSE, 2020. Available at: https://   populationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsonthecountriesandregionsofbritain/ [accessed 13/08/2020]                    april2020
9          Thomson Reuters Practical Law, COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and employment law: Is a worker who is in self-isolation entitled to resched-    17          ibid.
ule holiday? Thomson Reuters: Practical Law, 2020. Available at:         18          Davis, M and Green, J. Three Hours Longer, the Pandemic Workday Has Obliterated Work-Life Balance. Bloomberg, 2020. Available
fault&contextData=(sc.Default)&firstPage=true&bhcp=1#co_anchor_a145356 [accessed 13/08/2020]                                                      at: [accessed
10         Lasko-Skinner, R. Sector-picking: The role of online learning in transforming the labour market. Demos, 2020. Available at: https://   13/08/2020]                                                    19          Petty, S. UK employees miss office banter and adult conversations as working from home becomes the norm. FE News, 2020. Avail-
11         HM Treasury. A Plan For Jobs 2020. Available at:      able at:
jobs-2020 [accessed 13/08/2020]                                                                                                                   comes-the-norm [accessed 13/08/2020]
12         Allas, T., Canal, M. and Hunt, V. COVID-19 in the United Kingdom: Assessing jobs at risk and the impact on people and places. McK-     20          Please note respondents were invited to pick more than one working condition, percentages therefore reflect the number of people
insey & Company, 2020. Available at:     who have experienced that particular working condition during the crisis. Percentages do not reflect the number of people working in one con-
jobs-at-risk-and-the-impact-on-people-and-places [accessed 13/08/2020]                                                                            dition relative to another.
                                                                     12                                                                                                                                                 13
to work from home were those who were looking             of home working had given them a new perspective                 are unlikely to return to doing this significantly            Some jobs can be done from home and some
    after children and those who were students.               of working from home and enabled - or for some                   before we retire over the next couple of years.               people enjoy this. We need to stop shoving the
    Around a third of people in both groups said              pushed - them into making working from home work                 It has given us much more time home together,                 new normal way of working down everyone’s
    they were finding it difficult.                           for them. Many respondents recognised that being                 which we value.”                                              throats. It doesn’t work for everyone!”
                                                              outside the office itself had enabled them to better
•   Those on lower incomes were also more likely              concentrate and focus on the work at hand rather                 Woman, 50s, East of England                                   Woman, 40s, London
    to find it difficult, with 29% of those households        than get stressed or distracted.
    earning £20,000 or under finding it difficult to                                                                       A number of responses to the question about what                  “Working from home is another thing that is
    work from home, compared with 21% of those                    “At the start I did find it hard to be motivated         had changed their minds wrote about the time saved                different according to how rich and how poor
    households earning over £50,000.                              and to separate my work life and my home life            through not commuting to work.                                    you are. For some people they can slip away
                                                                  whilst being at home all the time. Previously                                                                              to their study. For me it means I now sit on the
•   Men were somewhat more likely to have found it                                                                             “My pre-covid19 work/life balance was awful.                  sofa 16 hours a day as there is nowhere else
                                                                  when away from the office I just forgot it                   I live 20 minutes away from my workplace but
    easy, 82% of men said that they had found it easy             existed so that I can enjoy my home life without                                                                           in a small flat to work. It is uncomfortable, not
    or fairly easy in comparison to 76% of women.                                                                              the commute each day takes up to an hour due                  like sitting at a desk and my hands and arms
                                                                  worrying about work. But now I feel like the                 to traffic. Working from home for 10 weeks has
                                                                  relieved stress of not working in office means                                                                             sometimes hurt.
•   Older people were more likely to have found it                                                                             shown me that that commute seriously impacts
    easy to work from home than younger people,                   that I do not think of my job as something I                 my family life: I leave work at about 530pm and               I miss the office banter, working from home
    85% of people aged over 50 said they were                     need to get away from, but I am viewing it as                arrive home at 630pm cooking tea and sorting                  when you live on your own and in lockdown
    finding it easy or fairly easy to work from home,             something I can develop.                                     out means I never have time for my children”                  is very isolating. It is all email and not much
    compared with around three-quarters of those                  I have also noticed that being self motivated and                                                                          conversation, or if it is - it’s a meeting that is
    aged under 40.                                                                                                             Woman, 40s, Yorkshire & Humberside                            much more painful to do over zoom or skype or
                                                                  not having an office that is constantly monitoring
                                                                  me, has meant that I have become more                        “I was spending too much time commuting                       whatever.”
We asked respondents to tell us about any
challenges or opportunities they were facing as a                 invested in my role. I am now trying to do what              and not enough time with family. Life is short.               Woman, 60s, London
result of the pandemic relating to jobs and work.                 I can to help others in my team more and also                Community is important. Working from home is
Their responses centred on the issues of working                  login in on the weekends if I feel like it would             possible.I want to be more involved in my son’s           Consistent with the closed answers to the survey,
from home, work-life balance, and longer term what                give me a good head start for the next week.”                education.It’s important to stop and take time for        parents who were trying to work at home while
respondents wanted - or thought was fair - from our                                                                            yourself.”                                                taking care of their children were often finding
                                                                  Woman, 20s, East Midlands                                                                                              working from home particularly difficult. This resulted
working lives as a society. As well as writing about                                                                           Woman, 30s, South East England
changes to their jobs in the designated section               Some respondents also explained their increase                                                                             from having to juggle childcare with their work
of the survey, respondents also referred to their             in productivity with reference to improved                   Others , particularly some key-workers, felt that the         responsibilities, with many feeling they were letting
working lives in their responses to the question ‘Is          opportunities for flexible working and a better work         increased use of technology had also helped boost             either their work or their children down. Those
there anything you feel you have learned or changed           life balance. Many said that having more time with           their productivity.                                           without office space said they had found it very
your mind about as a result of this crisis?’ These are        their families without a commute had transformed                                                                           difficult to find a place where they could concentrate
included here.                                                their lives, making their lives easier and less stressful.       “The increased use of appropriate technology              away from the children, who were often not able to
                                                              This had in turn enabled them to work better and                 and reduction of bureaucracy would be very                understand why their parents were working.
We looked at the experiences of different groups,             more productively. This was also a very common                   beneficial - it’s amazing what has been achieved
namely those who were working from home, those                                                                                 in this crisis.”                                              “I previously worked from home 1 day a week
                                                              theme in responses to the survey question ‘Is there                                                                            and office 4 days a week while the children were
who were working as key workers and those who                 anything you feel you have learned or changed your
were furloughed. This revealed a stark picture of                                                                              Woman, 60s, Wales                                             at school. This worked well and I set up in my
                                                              mind about as a result of this crisis?’: many said that                                                                        dining room as we don’t have any other suitable
how different types of working conditions have                their work-life balance had moved in a more positive         These feelings of better productivity and work-
changed under lockdown for different groups:                                                                                                                                                 workspace. Now that the children are here it is
                                                              direction.                                                   life balance were, however, not universal amongst                 incredibly difficult to concentrate on work for
while many have felt idle and bored, others have                                                                           respondents. There was a common feeling amongst
been struggling to juggle being a key worker and                   “Working from home, even to manage a team                                                                                 any decent period of time. I have taken to my
                                                                                                                           other participants that working from home was                     bedroom to work but I have not got a proper
parent . Respondents commonly talked about a                      spread across their own homes, has been                  harder. For many this was because the physical
change in their productivity and their work-life                  fantastic. The team feels closer as individuals,                                                                           set up and work with my laptop on the end of
                                                                                                                           space in their homes was uncomfortable or lacked                  my bed. I’m starting to develop an RSI and have
balance. We found that for those who had children                 productivity has increased, work-life balance is         the resources they needed to do a good job. This
and were looking after them while working this had                far better and if we could work like this forever                                                                          made my employer aware.
                                                                                                                           was also underpinned by missing the atmosphere of
been particularly difficult. We also found that a lot             (and if I can make it so we will) once the world         being at work, the ‘office banter’ and being able to              I feel very guilty trying to keep the children quiet
of respondents, particularly those that had been                  is back to normal then everybody in the team             switch off when leaving the office.                               whilst I am on client calls, as they naturally are
furloughed, had come to new realisations about their              would be happier.”                                                                                                         making noise and want to talk to their parents.
work and what they wanted from their working lives.                                                                            “I hate working from home. Mentally I work                    I have twins aged 6 and an 8 year old, so they
                                                                  Man, 30s, North East England                                 better from an office. my home is my place to
A common theme throughout responses was how                                                                                                                                                  need a lot of support to get through school
                                                                  “My husband and I both travelled the world                   rest and switch off from work. I have now bought              tasks on Google Classroom. We find it hard
working from home has impacted their productivity.                                                                             my work into my home and it’s difficult to switch
Many respondents expressed surprise at how much                   extensively for work and this has stopped                                                                                  to navigate the online work and I often feel
                                                                  completely. From a business point of view,                   off. Not only that, I don’t have the same setup.              extremely stressed trying to juggle everything.
more efficiently they had been working, despite                                                                                I sit on an uncomfortable chair and a makeshift
being outside the office and away from colleagues.                using virtual communications instead, we can                                                                               The children are not doing as much work as they
                                                                  now question how necessary this all was and                  desk. My internet connection isn’t the best.                  should be and I feel I am letting them down. It’s
Respondents recognised that this extended period
                                                         14                                                                                                                         15
almost a daily choice between letting my boss                  “I’ve genuinely enjoyed and deeply appreciated                Man, 60s, West Midlands                                       “Our society is interconnected and needs an
    down or letting the children down. I feel I/we                 the time and space to work on myself, learn                                                                                 equal foundation. We are reliant on everyone
    cannot continue like this for much longer.”                    more about myself, and try and nail down some                 “I really miss my work - not just the money                   to do their job to the best of their ability and
                                                                   more plans for the future. I would like to change             but feeling fulfilled and like I was making a                 provide them with the equipment to do so. This
    Woman, 40s, Scotland                                           career, but I am holding on until the uncertainty             difference”                                                   includes the NHS, but also means no more zero
For key-workers who said that they were working                    of covid is over (or until I lose my job and my               Woman, 20, West Midlands                                      hour contracts and removing the draconian “un-
from home, a common difficulty was finding it                      hand is forced).”                                                                                                           skilled” mentality from our immigration policies.
difficult to switch-off, resulting in a poor work-life                                                                       For many respondents, their perception of what                    The country is literally running on these people
                                                                   Man, 30s, East of England                                 constitutes valuable work had changed in the                      working, while the majority stay in lockdown.”
balance. Indeed, many found that their workload had
increased massively. This was then compounded by                   “I really don’t mind being furloughed and I don’t         light of the coronavirus and the critical nature of
                                                                                                                             contributions from health workers, bus drivers and                Woman, 30s, South East England
working on issues closely related to the pandemic                  miss work one bit. Hoping to stay furloughed til
which made it difficult to think about anything else or            at least the end of the summer. I’m considering           people who work in essential shops.                           Appreciation and recognition of the value of workers
to rest.                                                           mentioning to my employer that he should                      “I am also depressed to discover that for many            classified as low skilled was therefore one of the
                                                                   consider me for redundancy. I’ve been thinking                people it has taken this sort of crisis to realise        changes that many respondents wished to continue
    “ work is directly related to the current                 about changing jobs for the past few years, so,                                                                         beyond the lifetime of the pandemic.
    crisis and the volume of activity has increased                                                                              the jobs that really matter. No one will ever
                                                                   even though there will be less job opportunities              stand there and clap for a hedge fund manager
    massively. I’ve basically done the equivalent of a             in the near future, now would be a good time to
    year’s work in 10 weeks. I’m exhausted and feel                                                                              or a futures and options trader - who get paid
                                                                   move on.”                                                     ridiculous sums of money to sell bits of paper
    that I’m failing at family life as well as at work.
    [...] The nature of my role means that I’m dealing             Man, 50s, North West England                                  that are essentially a gamble on the future. ”
    with c19 issues all day every day and it has made                                                                            Woman, 60s, London
    it difficult to switch off..”                                  “Covid has made me reassess my job. Covid
                                                                   strips everything back. I was staying in my                   “[there is a] need for a total government rethink
    Woman, 30s, London                                             job because I wanted stability and enhanced                   around status and pay and conditions for the
                                                                   maternity pay whilst starting a family. There’s               nursing and caring professions.
Further, many respondents were struggling with                     been fertility difficulties and five years on I’m still
trying to do more of their work online. From teachers              in the same job because of it. I have a lengthy               This pandemic has really highlighted which
to social workers to funeral directors, respondents                train commute and covid makes me nervous                      members of society are the most valuable - ie
explained that trying to do elements of their very                 doing that train journey again. With covid I’m                key workers generally - and that fact that on the
human-centred work was particularly difficult.                     not sure how stable my job is now anyway. So                  whole they are the least well paid with the least
    “The challenge for me as a social worker has                   I’ve taken the brave step and applied for a new               social status. There needs to be a real shake up.
    been to do the job using social media such as                  job, closer to home.”                                         A society where a footballer is paid more per
    Skype, Zoom etc. It means restrictions on how I                                                                              day than a nurse or shop worker is per year is
                                                                   Woman, 30s, Yorkshire & Humberside                            not acceptable.”
    communicate with people - there’s so much we
    gain from face to face contact that I’m missing            For many other respondents on furlough, their                     Woman. 60s, South West England
    and that impacts on the work being done.”                  time had been stressful and unpleasant. Many have
                                                               been plagued by the stress of uncertainty if they             For many, lockdown highlighted the importance of
    Woman, 60s, London                                         will get their job back and how they will provide for         key workers, such as those delivering health and
    “Remote learning has been a challenge. There is            themselves and their family in the future. This was           social care, and working in sectors such as retail,
    no way to engage our most vulnerable families.             often compounded by boredom and feeling idle                  wholesale and transport. A greater appreciation of
    Many have no broadband and no phones - in                  without work to keep them busy and feeling useful.            their role was a very common theme in responses the
    debt management these contracts are the                                                                                  the question
                                                                   “There are no opportunities coming out of the
    first things to go. We need free broadband                     pandemic for me. I work in aviation and my                ‘Is there anything you feel you have learned or
    universally. We need more funding to provide                   household income has been reduced by 70%.                 changed your mind about as a result of this crisis?’
    the tech to families that don’t have it.”                      I fear that despite being on furlough, when this          Respondents felt that key workers, many of whom
    Woman, 40s, East of England                                    government support ends I will likely be made             are considered to be unskilled, are undervalued and
                                                                   redundant due to contractions in my industry.             underpaid. Concerns were also expressed at lack of
Many respondents were having new realisations                                                                                protection from the virus for these workers.
about what they wanted from their work life. In                    “If this were to occur I consider it will be
particular, those respondents who were on furlough                 extremely unlikely that I will secure alternative             “We need to recognise the value of front line
felt that the time off had enabled them to think                   employment due to my age and the large                        healthcare workers, carers, delivery drivers all
about what they wanted to do next in their career.                 number of other individuals being made                        those that kept the country going during the
These often entailed having a different type of job                redundant by my industry. I have no experience                crises because they were deemed key workers
or a shorter commute so that they could spend more                 in any other industry. This will put me at risk               and pay them accordingly.”
time in their local community.                                     of losing my home due to inability to pay my
                                                                   mortgage.”                                                    Woman, 50s, East Midlands

                                                          16                                                                                                                          17
                                                                       students get through the lockdown process.25                                 comings.

                                                                       IMPACT ON SCHOOL PUPILS                                                      Research conducted during lockdown confirms
                                                                                                                                                    the importance of socio-economic background in
                                                                       The gap on mathematical and literary skills between                          opportunities to learn. Research carried out by the
                                                                       children from low and higher income households                               Sutton Trust in April 2020 found that only 23% of
                                                                       typically widens over the summer break.26                                    pupils were participating in daily live or recorded
                                                                       Researchers expect that a similar gap in attainment                          online sessions. Pupils from working class families
                                                                       will be found after students return to school. Indeed,                       were much less likely than their middle class
                                                                       the Education Endowment Foundation has stated                                counterparts to have such opportunities, at 16%
                                                                       that school closures are likely to reverse progress                          vs 30%.31 Private school students were found to be
On 18 March, for the first                                             made to narrow the gap in the last decade.27 Their
                                                                       research suggests that the estimated attainment gap
                                                                                                                                                    more than twice as likely as those at state schools to
time in the British history,                                           could widen by up to 36%.28 This attainment gap
                                                                                                                                                    be accessing online lessons every day.

the government announced                                               is likely to be a result of a combination of factors
                                                                       such as access to technology, the homeschooling
                                                                                                                                                    A study conducted under lockdown found that nearly
                                                                                                                                                    two-thirds (64%) of secondary pupils in state schools
the nationwide shut-down of                                            environment, and lack of necessary additional                                from the richest households are offered some form
schools.                                                               support.                                                                     of active help by their parents, compared with 47%
                                                                                                                                                    from the poorest fifth of families.32 A survey by the
This meant that up to 8 million pupils in England                      Much education activity has moved online, although                           IFS and the Institute of Education of over 4,000
and their teachers were required to continue their                     some schools are reported to deliver worksheets to                           parents of children aged 4-15 found that the children
education in their homes.21 Vulnerable children                        pupils with little or no access to technology. On May                        from better-off families are spending 30% more
and young people and children of the key workers                       12, YouGov asked more than 800 teachers about                                time on home learning than are those from poorer
were allowed to go to school.22 A national scheme                      the impact of the coronavirus. Almost half of the                            families.33
to support children on free school meals was also                      teachers (44%) said they know at least one pupil who
announced.                                                             has been unable to access education because of                               School closures have affected access to an important
                                                                       issues with technology. Only 11% said that all of their                      source of nutritious food for some children.34 In
This pandemic also meant the cancellation of A                         pupils have been able to connect.29                                          England, about 1.3 million children claimed free
level and GCSE exams for summer 2020. This                                                                                                          school meals in 2019, or about 15% of state-
year’s grades were intially awarded based on a                         To close the education gap, the government                                   educated pupils.35 Schools have been expected
statistical model developed by Ofqual.23 However,                      announced that disadvantaged students who receive                            to continue supporting children eligible for free
after thousands of teacher-predicted grades were                       support from a social worker and care leavers across                         school meals who are at home. These have been
downgraded, protests throughout the education                          England would receive a free tablet or laptop                                delivered either in the form of meals or food parcels
community resulted in the reinstatement of teacher-                    computer and 4G based mobile devices.30 However,                             through the schools’ food provider or using the DfE’s
predicted grades unless those awarded by the                           we do not know how many of these devices are                                 centrally funded national voucher scheme. As a result
algorithm were higher.24                                               distributed and anecdotal evidence indicates short-

Ofqual announced that exams for vocational schools
would continue as planned. Many UK education                           25, UK education providers are helping teachers, parents and students respond to the impact of COVID-19 worldwide. 2020.
providers prepared resources to help parents and                       Available at:
                                                                       of-covid-19-worldwide [accessed 13/08/2020]
                                                                       26         Van Lancker, W and Parolin, Z. COVID-19, school closures, and child poverty: a social crisis in the making. The Lancet, 2020. Available
                                                                       at: [accessed 13/08/2020]
                                                                       27         Education Endowment Foundation. Rapid evidence assessment:
                                                                       Impact of school closures on the attainment gap. 2020. Available at:
21          Adams, R and Stewart H. UK Schools to be closed   [accessed
indefinitely and exams cancelled. The Guardian, 2020. Available        13/08/2020]
at:            28         Education Endowment Foundation. Rapid evidence assessment. 2020.
rus-uk-schools-to-be-closed-indefinitely-and-exams-cancelled [ac-      29         Smith, M. At least 44% of teachers know pupils who can’t access education due to technology issues. YouGov, 2020. Available at:
cessed 13/08/2020]                                            [accessed 13/08/2020]
22          Department for Education. Supporting vulnerable children   30         Jackson, M. COVID-19 – Free Laptops and 4G Broadband for Vulnerable Kids. ISP Review, 2020. Available at: https://www.ispreview.
and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak   [accessed 13/08/2020]
- actions for educational providers and other partners. Available      31         Cullinane, C and Montacute, R. COVID-19 and Social Mobility Impact Brief #1: School Shutdown. Sutton Trust, 2020. Available at:
at: [accessed 13/08/2020]
id-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavi-       32         Alison, A and others. Learning during the lockdown: real-time data on children’s experiences during home learning. IFS, 2020. Availa-
rus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people          ble at:
23          Whittaker, F. Coronavirus: An explainer on how GCSE and [accessed 13/08/2020]
A-level grades will be awarded this summer. FE Week, 2020. Availa-     33         Alison, A and others. Learning during the lockdown: real-time data on children’s experiences during home learning. IFS, 2020. Availa-
ble at:   ble at:
how-gcse-and-a-level-grades-will-be-awarded-this-summer/ [accessed [accessed 13/08/2020]
13/08/2020]                                                            34         Van Lancker, W and Parolin, Z. COVID-19, school closures, and child poverty: a social crisis in the making. The Lancet, 2020. Available
24          BBC. A-levels and GCSEs: U-turn as teacher estimates to    at: [accessed 13/08/2020]
be used for exam results. BBC, 2020. Available at:    35         Lawrie, E. Coronavirus: What’s happening to free school meals this summer? BBC, 2020. Available at: [accessed 27/08/2020]                           explainers-53053337 [accessed 13/08/2020]
                                                               18                                                                              19
of a successful campaign by the footballer Marcus                              people aged 25 and over to say the pandemic                           over a third of a year more schooling than state              easy for teachers and students but only if all
Rashford, the voucher scheme was extended to                                   has had a big effect on their studies.                                kids. Not a level playing field.”                             parties have functioning technology which is
cover the six week summer break.36                                                                                                                                                                                 certainly not the case.”
                                                                           •   73% of people responding to open-ended                                Woman, 50s, North West England
IMPACT ON HIGHER EDUCATION                                                     questions on education in our survey were                                                                                           Woman, 30s, London
                                                                               female, indicating that the issue is of more                      A former teacher and school governor remarked
At the beginning of lockdown all universities moved                            salience to women. Out of 6022 female                                                                                           There was a more general and widespread concern
teaching online and many students went back to                                                                                                       “It has become evident to me the huge                     by parents and others that school closures were
                                                                               respondents, 31% said they were living with                           disconnect between the learning opportunities
their family homes. The pandemic’s impact will                                 children under 18 years old.                                                                                                    widening the attainment gap, as a result of
not be limited to the current academic year. Some                                                                                                    offered by many of the state schools and the              differential provision of online learning as well as
universities have announced that teaching during the                       We asked respondents to tell us about any                                 daily quite intense routine of timetabled virtual         inequalities in access. Parents of children with special
2020-21 year will also be online. Arrangements will                        challenges or opportunities they were facing as                           lessons offered in the Independent schools.”              needs felt that provision had been especially poor:
vary by institution but Cambridge’s vice-chancellor,                       a result of the pandemic relating to their own                            Woman, 70+ East of England                                some children with special needs were having more
announced that its Institute of Continuing Education                       education or that of their children.                                                                                                difficulty learning online and that there was very little
for adults would offer all its 2020-21 undergraduate                                                                                             Some respondents suggested the Government and                 tailored support for their learning during lockdown.
teaching online, with no residential requirement.37                        The most common themes related to experiences of                      agencies such as Ofsted should have provided a
                                                                           online teaching and learning from schools, parents’                   stronger steer.                                                   “My daughter (aged 11) has a mild visual
WHAT YOU TOLD US ABOUT EDUCATION                                           involvement in home-schooling and, for parents of                                                                                       impairment so written online lessons can be
                                                                           older children, exams. Transition from primary to                         “I think there has been real inconsistencies                  exhausting for her. We have worked with the
The open access survey asked questions about the                           secondary education and to university was also a                          between what schools have offered for homes                   school (which is private) to address her needs
impact of the pandemic on respondents’ children’s                          recurring theme.                                                          learning and in approach. Should have been                    and they have been fantastic. More “live”
education and their own education. The questions                                                                                                     more government set standards provided to                     lessons have helped. She still gets very anxious
were:                                                                      In terms of school provision, participants were aware                     schools for them to follow and adhere to.”                    that she’s not doing what she is supposed to -
                                                                           of wide variation in the extent to which schools were                                                                                   but also can be easily distracted and wander off
1. In general, how much of an impact do you think                          delivering online learning during lockdown. They                          Man, 40s, South East England
   the pandemic and lockdown has had on your                                                                                                                                                                       to YouTube if she doesn’t understand a lesson.
                                                                           also commented on perceived variations in quality.                                                                                      This has been super stressful”
   child or children’s education?                                          Some parents said that schools were relying on                            “Some schools have done an excellent job
                                                                           worksheets to be completed by pupils, instead of                          in supporting the learning but this is very                   Woman, 40s, London
2. How much of an impact do you think the                                                                                                            inconsistent (feel OFSTED could have taken
   pandemic and lockdown has had on your                                   direct teaching.
                                                                                                                                                     a much more proactive role in this both                   At the same time, many respondents commented
   studies?                                                                     “I don’t think the school has done enough to                         in assessing and rating and in coaching                   that teachers are doing a great job in very difficult
For questions about the education section, 2480                                 make the lessons engaging online. There are lots                     and supporting). An ill judged and missed                 circumstances. Some respondents also felt that
people answered the first question and 307                                      of worksheets and questions, but no interaction.                     opportunity! Other schools have been v poor               teachers had been unfairly criticised for being
answered the second. In this section, percentages                               As a result we’ve taken days off homeschooling                       - little or no direct teaching, reams of non              reluctant to return to school in June.
will therefore refer to the number of people                                    to give our son a break from the classes that he                     differentiated worksheets - or nothing at all.“
                                                                                finds boring and frustrating.”                                                                                                 Despite the challenges involved, It was clear that
proportionally in this sample that responded to the                                                                                                  Woman, 60s, East Midlands                                 many parents who responded to our survey valued
question in the section, rather than overall.                                   Woman, 30s, London                                                                                                             the opportunity to deliver home learning to their
                                                                                                                                                 Some respondents, including teachers, reflected               children.
Our analysis of responses to these questions found:                        Parents also regretted the lack of enrichment                         on the benefits and also disadvantages of moving
•    More than 75% of respondents to our survey said                       activities during lockdown, such as drama and art.                    teaching online. Concerns focused on differential                 “It’s been lovely having the opportunity to spend
     the pandemic and lockdown had a moderate or                           The curriculum was reported to have become very                       access of children and young people to PCs and                    more time with my children and take more of an
     big impact on their child or children’s education.                    focused on a narrow range of academic subjects.                       laptops and to reliable broadband. A teacher in the               interest in their learning (helping and teaching
                                                                                                                                                 FE sector summed up some of these concerns.                       rather than just asking how school was at end of
•    Almost half of the respondents to our survey                          Parents were also aware of a substantial difference                                                                                     day).”
     (45%) said the pandemic and lockdown had a big                        in approach between state and private schools, with                       “I have found that it is very effective to deliver
     impact on their child or children’s education with                    the latter often delivering a full academic curriculum                    certain subjects online - even an arts discipline-            Woman, 40s, Scotland
     Impact felt across income groups.                                     and even enrichment activities.                                           more than I thought possible. However I do
                                                                                                                                                     not think that online education alone is the way          Many found the most successful approaches have
•    307 participants in our survey were students,                              “I have a 16 year old who missed sitting his                         forward - it certainly opens the doors for those          involved combining school resources with ones they
     almost half of whom said the pandemic and                                  GCSE’s who has been given the very odd piece                         who may not be able to attend institutions due            design themselves. It was also apparent that some
     lockdown had a big impact on their studies.                                of work from school to complete - so basically                       to proximity, but the interaction is not the same         families have put a lot of effort into home learning
                                                                                he’s on holiday until September when he goes                         and students seem less confident and open to              with enrichment activities and play-based learning
•    Women, disabled people and young people                                    back to start A levels. Private school kids it’s                     discourse online whether it be through a typed            for younger children.
     aged 18-24 were much more likely than men or                               been business as usual so they will have had                         chat or through video.                                    One respondent, herself a teacher described
36          Syal, R. Stewart, H and Pidd, H. Johnson makes U-turn on free school meals after Rashford campaign. The Guardian, 2020. Available        Also it has brought to light the great                        “My 3 year old had been attending nursery
at: [accessed            disadvantage that students who live in very                   three days a week which closed at lockdown.
37          Cambridge cancels face-to-face lectures until 2021. Financial Times, 2020. Available at:
                                                                                                                                                     crowded households or who do not own                          I was able to spend lots of time with him at
44c3-815c-e05dfe9e1193 [accessed 13/08/2020]                                                                                                         computers have. Moving some work online is
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